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How to Tame Cowlicks in Your Hair

By: Jody Ehrhardt - Updated: 3 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Bad Hair Day Cowlick Taming Hair

Everyone is susceptible to experiencing the dreaded "bad hair day" every now and again, but if you have a cowlick you may experience more than your fair share of hard to manage hair days.

A cowlick is an area of hair on the scalp that does not grow in the same direction or pattern as the rest of the hair. The hair of a cowlick usually grows in a pivot pattern around the centre of the cowlick resulting in a tuft or section of hair that sticks up from the scalp and pokes out in an awkward direction. Cowlicks can form anywhere on the scalp but they are most common on the crown of the head or along the hairline.

Taming Hair Cowlicks

The easiest way to deal with a hair cowlick is to incorporate its odd growth pattern into your hair cut or style. For example, if you have a cowlick at the top of your crown you can part your hair in a way that covers over the cowlick, weighs down the unruly hair section, and flattens the volume of the cowlick. A good professional hair stylist can recommend the most effective cut for minimizing and camouflaging your hair cowlick.

Once you have a cowlick friendly haircut you can further tame your problem area with the use of hair products. Mousses, hair gels, hair creams, and hairspray can all be utilized to flatten a cowlick. When styling start with damp hair and apply a small amount of mousse or hair gel to the cowlick area. Next, using a blow dryer and a round brush smooth the unruly section of hair in the same direction as the neighbouring hair growth. Once your hair is dry and the cowlick is laying in the proper direction spray the area with a strong to medium hold hair spray.

If you do not have time to style your hair or if the styling techniques aren't working effectively, you can use stylish hair accessories to camouflage the cowlick. Wearing a wide headband to hold back the hair can hide cowlicks at the front of the hairline or at the centre of the crown. Barrettes or hair clips can be used to hold down cowlicks that appear on other areas of the scalp. Finally, smooth, tight styles such as buns, ponytails, updos, and braids can be worn to hide the erratic hair growth.

Permanent Fixes for Taming Hair Cowlicks

Although most cowlicks can be minimized with the right haircut or styling technique, there are times when a more permanent alternative is necessary. If you have a very difficult cowlick, if the cowlick is in a hard to camouflage area, or if you suffer from multiple cowlicks, you may want to consider having your hair permed or relaxed.

Perms and relaxers chemically treat your hair to change the structure of the hair shaft. Once the chemicals weaken the shaft the hair strands can be manipulated to hold a different direction or style. A permanent wave can work to bend the hair affected by the cowlick into a more flattering, natural growth pattern. Hair relaxers can smooth the bend of a cowlick and allow the hair to rest more naturally against the scalp. Since cowlicks cause the hair to grow in very erratic patterns it is best to have a professional stylist perm or relax your hair to ensure the best results.

Cowlicks can be hard to tame, and sometimes embarrassing to deal with. However, with a little patience and the right technique you should be able to style your hair in the most flattering way and put an end to "bad hair days" forever.

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